Definitions for backbencherˈbækˈbɛn tʃər, -ˌbɛn-

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word backbencher

Princeton's WordNet

  1. backbencher(noun)

    a member of the House of Commons who is not a party leader


  1. backbencher(Noun)

    A Member of Parliament who does not have cabinet rank, and who therefore sits on one of the backbenches or in one of the back rows of the legislature.


  1. Backbencher

    In Westminster parliamentary systems, a backbencher is a Member of Parliament or a legislator who does not hold governmental office and is not a Front Bench spokesperson in the Opposition. A backbencher may be a new parliamentary member yet to receive high office, a senior figure dropped from government, or someone who for whatever reason is not chosen to sit either in the ministry or the opposition Shadow Ministry. In most parliamentary systems, backbenchers individually do not have much power to influence government policy. However, they may play a role in providing services to their constituents and in relaying the opinions of their constituents. Some backbenchers also sit on parliamentary committees, where legislation is considered in more detail than is permitted on the floor of the House, and thereby provide valuable input into the legislative process. In addition, since backbenchers generally form the vast majority of the number of MPs, collectively they can sometimes exercise considerable power especially in cases where the policies of the government are unpopular or when a governing party is internally split. In some legislative assemblies, sitting at the back of the chamber is not necessarily associated with having a minor role. In Switzerland, senior figures sit in the back rows in order to have a better overview and be closer to the doors for discussions outside the plenary. In Germany the faction leaders sit in the front row, but there are no designated places for other senior figures. Originally, the importance of the front rows for the leaders had also to do with the fact that acoustics were often unsatisfactory before microphones were introduced.

Images & Illustrations of backbencher

Translations for backbencher

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • Hinterbänklerin, HinterbänklerGerman
  • député de l'arrière-ban, simple député, députée sans portefeuille, député sans portefeuilleFrench
  • cooyl-vinkeyrManx
  • 平議員Japanese
  • заднескамеечница, заднескамеечник, [[рядовой]] [[член]] [[парламентRussian

Get even more translations for backbencher »


Find a translation for the backbencher definition in other languages:

Select another language:

Discuss these backbencher definitions with the community:

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:     


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"backbencher." STANDS4 LLC, 2015. Web. 25 Nov. 2015. <>.

Are we missing a good definition for backbencher? Don't keep it to yourself...

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for backbencher:

Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.